Lets deal with body positivity first and body confidence. I’ve always been skinny and I’ve never been worried about my body really. Then I got ill and started loosing weight which a lot of people commented on; again, I didn’t really get too self conscious. It was only once I went on steroids I started to feel less body confident; my body stayed relatively skinny, due to not absorbing much from my food, but I had the generic steroid moon face which I was really self conscious about and even though people told me that it wasn’t noticeable, I was definitely aware of it.
These photos were taken exactly a year apart; the one on the right from before I was diagnosed but I was in my first flare and the one on the left is from a year later at my year 13 prom. I swore I’d never share these prom photos because I absolutely hate how I look in them but I think it shows how much my body changed, due to the drugs and my IBD.
As soon as I came out of hospital, I was initially still very body conscious. I was super skinny and lost all my muscle and I had my bags which felt so weird and foreign, I could hardly walk and I was exhausted. I was so aware of my bags, and thought others could see them too, and I couldn’t wear my normal clothes for the first few months and just felt so uncomfortable in all my clothes.
Then something changed. I don’t know if it was just because I was getting better and got used to my bags or because I started going for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy but I was suddenly like who cares about my bags! If I didn’t have them, I might not be here, and you can’t actually see them anyways. Because my stomach became less tender, I could start wearing jeans which was a massive step in my opinion and now, as you can see from my ostomy outfits of the month, I can wear just about anything.
I still get down sometimes about my bags, especially when they leak or my stomas sore because I didn’t chew my food enough but I’m a lot more confident now!